Common Legal Problems at a Glance

Judge dennis cavanaugh

For those of us unfamiliar with it or who lack an advanced law degree, the modern criminal justice system is an intimidating mess. Sure we can call for criminal justice reform or pretend that Ron Swanson’s dreams of returning to Manifest Destiny America are reasonable, but really what we need to do is get more familiar with the way our system works. Below is an at-a-glance guide to justice problems you might have heard of before, and how they might play out in our current system:
1. Declaring Bankruptcy. Bankruptcy issues are no laughing matter. With more than 3,000 bankruptcy claims being filed daily (mostly due, tellingly, to unexpected medical expenses), this might be your greatest hazard as an everyday American. Generally a bankruptcy is about the worst news possible for your credit, divesting you of any credit potential for about 7 years. However, less drastic sanctions may be possible via bankruptcy mediation handled by an attorney.
2. Discrimination. Discrimination based on race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, etc. is still a major problem in our society. For example, One in three black Americans say they have been the victims of racial discrimination within the last 12 months. The key feature of discrimination cases is that they are hard to prove. Discriminators usually have some sort of plausible deniability in place to protect themselves against legal recourse, so if you feel you have been discriminated against, you must make sure that a legal professional knows how to make a strong circumstantial argument and be ready to settle the case out of court.
3. International investigations. If you were the victim of a crime abroad and wish to press charges, then you’re going to have to be prepared for the frustrations of international investigations. International investigations are complicated mainly because of the jurisdictional ambiguities and the different sets of laws between countries that often conflict with each other. If you find yourself involved in one of these international investigations, it’s best to have a legal representative familiar with both systems or better yet, a legal team who can be your ambassador between governments while you work out the problem.
4. Personal injury. If you were the victim of a personal injury and believe someone else is at fault, then you’re probably looking at settling the case out of court. In fact as many as 95% of personal injury cases are settled before going to trial, so you should seek a legal representative with good experience in litigation.

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